Choosing Your Battles

Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 2.Deuteronomy 2 was interesting in that it gave us a view at the wanderings from 30,000 feet. It was a wide and panoramic angle that is lost to us in the previous readings, but here presents a beautiful realization. The Israelites were bound by God's previous promises, and His regard for those who had played lesser roles in His plan of redemption.

First, we go through Seir tied to the descendants of Esau. As we remember, Abraham had Isaac who then had two sons, Esau and Jacob. It was Jacob who would be transformed into Israel, but Esau was still blessed because of his lineage. Second, the Israelites journeyed toward Moab and Ammon, but again God warned them not to get any ideas for the sake of Lot. Of course, Lot was the nephew of Abraham. Again, he was blessed because of his closeness to his uncle.

Further, we see that God not only prevented the Israelites from fighting with these kinsmen, but He had apparently done mighty works on their behalf to award them the land. Scripture says that God "gave" them the land by displacing imposing peoples. God had gone to bat for these cousins of Israel just as He had done for Israel itself. Only the Amorites under Sihon are fair game for the Israelites.

As I thought about it this, I marveled at how God chose the battles for the Israelites. This makes it obvious that there is more going on here than simply a land grab. If God wanted Israel to rule by force, He could have easily given the people all their enemies, all the lands, and all the power in the world. Instead, He limited them in many ways. This is because the purpose of His plan is never to establish Israel as a global superpower. Instead, His goal is to establish Israel so that a Messiah could defeat the real enemy.

Don't forget what you are called to do. You're not called to have the largest bank account, climb to the top of the corporate ladder, or be the envy of all your friends. Regardless of what some might say, God is not that interested in making us all healthy and wealthy. What He is focused on is using us in His plan of redemption. You are called to take your place in His plan. Dedicate today to doing just that. Choose your battles accordingly.